Sabi ni Jon Mariano, about computerizing our voting system:
It’s really time for computerization. If we try to simplify things, we can see that without computerization the voting is rigged. With computerization, the voting might be rigged. Might as well computerize it so that even if the results are rigged we have the results faster! Then we can work on making the computerized system “un-riggable”.
I'm probably the only person who is not advocating for the computerization of our voting system until we do a thorough housecleaning within the COMELEC.
I have to disagree with Jon on this. Kapag computerized ang botohan, mas mabilis nga ang bilangan--pero mas mabilis rin ito dayain.
Kaya nga some people like Glenn Reynolds are advocating paper ballots para sa US elections dahil mas mahirap ito dayain at mas mabilis mahuli ang pandaraya.
A paper ballot encodes lots of useful information besides the obvious. Not only is the information about the vote contained in the form, but also information about the voter. Different colors of ink, different styles of handwriting, etc., make each ballot different. Erasing the original votes is likely to leave a detectable residue. Creating all new ballots with fraudulent votes requires substantial variation among them or the fakery is much more obvious; thats hard work. And destroying the original ballots in order to replace them with fraudulent ones isnt that easy theres a lot of paper to be disposed of, and shredding it, or burning it, or hiding it is comparatively easy to detect. (Protecting the ballots before counting doesnt require fancy encryption, either: just a steel box with a lock, a slot on the top, and a seal.) Whats more, because people are familiar with paper documents, fraud is easy to understand when it occurs. Paper ballots are both robust (resistant to fraud) and transparent (easy to understand). Compare this sophisticated voting technology to that of voting machines. A voting machine captures only the information regarding the vote. Once it has done so, one vote looks like another. Theres no handwriting, no style, no ink, just a simple notation of which candidate was favored. Most voting machines store votes electronically, meaning that if theyre changed, theres no troubling paper residue for fraud-perpetrators to dispose of. And because voting machines are complicated - and because their actual workings are unseen, and often kept secret its much harder for voters, members of the press, and others to identify or understand fraud. Electronic ballots, in other words, are neither robust nor transparent. The fact is, if you could come up with a new technology as simple and resistant to fraud as the paper ballot, people would be pretty impressed.
Kapag computerized ang election, MAHIRAP mahuli ang dayaan. Almost undetectable. Posibleng dayain ka ng admin, pero hindi mo sya mapapansin, dahil "mabilis ang bilangan", at "walang ebidensiya" na may fraud.
Tignan nyo yung mga reports ng media at watchdog groups re fraud. Mas mabilis mahuli ang dayaan sa Mindanao di ba? dahil mas mabilis ma-recognize ang manual na "dagdag bawas". Most people know it when they see it.
Eh kung "computerized" yan, mahuli kaya ni ricky carandang ang dayaan sa botohan? Mabilis bang ma-detect ng mga outside computer experts at watchdog groups ang electronic "dagdag bawas" ng COMELEC if they have no (or limited) access to the COMELEC computers?
Problema kasi, walang naparusahan o nakulong nga garci operators nung 2004 eh. Kaya bumabalik ulit ang mga magnanakaw ng boto sa COMELEC.
So Jon, the difference between a "rigged" computerized system and a "rigged" manual system (both under a partisan COMELEC) is that it is easier to catch cheating under the manual system. At mas matrabaho and dagdag bawas sa manual.
re how to make the computerized system "un-riggable"? First step is to remove all the crooks inside the COMELEC. Without that first step, walang kwenta ang automated system na ito.
I'm sure the DJB, who's a physicist, will disagree with me on the voting machines issue.
UPDATE: PDI Editorial: "Who would not welcome poll computerization, unless he or she has a secret agenda for 2010?"